President Trump said Friday he is declaring a national emergency on the southern border, tapping into executive powers in a bid to divert billions toward construction of a wall even as he plans to sign a funding package that includes just $1.4 billion for border security. “We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border … one way or the other, we have to do it,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. The move is expected to face a swift and forceful legal challenge that could stall the attempt in the courts for the near future. But the declaration and other money-moving plans allow Trump to continue to fight for border wall construction while also averting another partial government shutdown -- which would have been triggered at midnight absent the new funding package. Trump, in the Rose Garden, declared once again that "walls work" as he confirmed he'll sign the emergency declaration. "We’re talking about an invasion of our country," Trump said. And in an almost-casual tone, the president predicted a legal fight that will wind up before the Supreme Court. "We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued," Trump said, adding that the federal appeals courts could well rule against his administration. "Then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court -- just like the [travel] ban.” A senior administration official told Fox News that the White House plans to next move $8 billion in currently appropriated or available funds toward construction of the wall. Of that, $3 billion could be diverted with help from the emergency declaration. That money includes about $600 million from the Treasury Department’s forfeiture fund. That money has been described as “easy money” that the White House can use however it wants. The White House is also expected to use drug interdiction money from the Department of Defense. But by declaring an emergency, Trump would also seek to unlock money from the Defense Department’s military construction budget as well, to the tune of $3.5 billion. #NationalEmergency
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